One reason for not getting things done is procrastination. It’s just so easy to avoid doing the laundry or sorting out your finances when there’s a great new season on Netflix that you could be binge-watching instead!
Procrastination isn’t the only reason for failing to get things done though. Another cause, that is probably only going to become more common as our pace of life continues to speed up, is errand paralysis.
The term was coined by Helen Anne Petersen in her article “How Millennials Became The Burnout Generation”. What the term refers to is not an inability to get things done, but rather, as Peterson herself explained, it is a struggle to get through “the stuff that wouldn’t make my job easier or my work better”. This includes things like unloading the dishwasher, or taking parcels for return to the post office, or answering personal emails.
Those who have errand paralysis aren’t struggling with getting work-related tasks done. In fact, when it comes to work, meeting those deadlines and getting things done is a something which errand paralysis sufferers pride themselves on. Errand paralysis isn’t laziness. For many, it strikes because our “after-work” time is now filled up with side-gigs, or personal development and brand-building, or, for some, a second job.
So what’s the answer?
One solution – delegate! What is, to you, a frustrating task you never get done, may be a joy for someone else. No time to browse for a new flat? Maybe one of your friends finds house hunting relaxing?
Also, since scheduling isn’t a problem for you (at least probably not), the key thing is to put more value on your personal admin and relaxation time. Put relaxation time in your diary in the same way that you would a work meeting!
Ok, so meeting up with friends for a film night or clearing your inbox may not directly help you get a promotion at work, but being relaxed and happy (something having a clear inbox should help with, and having a film night should definitely help with) will help you to thrive at work and avoid a dreaded burnout!